Few working-class women of Alice’s generation wrote their life story.
Hers was found in a hard-backed notebook after her death. The book is
‘biography, local history, social history and a lot more’ Journal of
“Students of local history and
people who want a genuine account of an ‘ordinary’ life should find
Alice from Tooting an invaluable account.”
“This is a delightful book, the
kind you cannot put down.” Local History Magazine
“Alice from Tooting is full of
fascinating detail about Alice’s successful fight for happiness.”
South London Press
. . . they decided my mother was too
small to have a natural birth. They made the decision to cut the baby up
inside the womb and remove it piecemeal.
I loved my Sunday School . . . I had
very little schooling as being the eldest, there were babies to care
for, and mother had to work, so that fell to me and I loved babies. But
when I was attending Sunday School I would carry the baby with me rather
than miss Sunday School.
Mother told us it was no disgrace to be
poor but it was to be dirty or ragged. A lady could appear with a patch
or a darn but a hole or unmended tear betokened poor housekeeping and
If any belonging to another parish were
ill, they had to be sent back to their own parish, by horse ambulance.
It was sad to see even little girls
there [the Asylum]. One age 12 had deliberately put her baby sister in
the path of an oncoming tram and watched with glee when the baby was run
In the morning when we woke P [her
husband] offered to go down and make a cup of tea, he wanted to do it
for me but soon came back to say mother would not let him. Later she
scolded me for letting him attempt it, she said my place was to wait on
A Londoner who was told that delivery to her local
bookshop would take 4-6 weeks phoned us because she wanted a copy of
Alice from Tooting for a gift sooner. The book was despatched by return
and she wrote: “Thank you for sending Alice from Tooting. It is such an
interesting book (I borrowed it from the library first) that I decided
to buy a copy for a friend of mine. I’m sure she’ll enjoy it as much as
I have. Thank you again” JM. Plowright Press usually despatches an order
on the day it arrives and always within three working days.